KC man who prompted FBI terror investigation admits passport fraud

Isse Mohamud
Isse Mohamud

A Kansas City man who was the focus of an FBI terrorism investigation after traveling to the Middle East pleaded guilty Thursday to a federal charge of passport fraud.

Isse Aweis Mohamud, 22, admitted in his plea agreement with federal prosecutors that he lied about his travel plans when he applied for a passport last year.

On the application, he listed his travel destination as Canada, and in order to get an expedited passport he included a travel itinerary for a round-trip flight from Kansas City to Vancouver, Canada.

But he never intended to made that trip, according to the agreement. Several months later, Mohamud traveled to Egypt without telling his family or employer.

After his family discovered that he was gone, they called Kansas City police to report him missing. Police then contacted the FBI after the family said they were worried that he had gone overseas to “engage in jihadist activities.”

Shortly after his arrival, Egyptian authorities detained him in a hotel until FBI employees arrived to interview him.

He allegedly told the FBI that he had traveled there to meet “the strangers.” The agent testified in a previous court hearing that the term “strangers” is sometimes used to describe people who travel from other countries to fight with the Islamic State.

After he was questioned, Mohamud voluntarily returned to the United States. He was arrested after flying to Kansas City and charged with passport fraud.

The agreement acknowledges that the government has no “direct evidence” of his involvement in any terrorist activity, but it does not preclude the government from continuing to investigate.

Both sides will recommend a sentence of four years in prison for Mohamud. A sentencing date has not been set.

Tony Rizzo: 816-234-4435, @trizzkc